The ‘affordable’ micro-apartments aren’t even gonna be affordable

All this and nothing else can be yours for $1800 per month!
All this and nothing else can be yours for $1800 per month!

We’ve made some jokes about the Bloomberg administration’s push for micro-apartments as a solution to new and affordable housing in the city. But, at the very least they were supposed to be affordable. Right? Kind of? Oh whoops, if your idea of affordable is below “starting salary at an investment firm” you can go screw, because a new study of the units shows that like a lot of Manhattan, these apartments are going to be for the well-off only.

TheĀ Observer found a study by housing advocacy group the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development that illustrated that the $1800/month “affordable” units aren’t even affordable by the standards of the expensive neighborhood they’re going in. ANHD found that with property at $53/square foot in Murray Hill, the affordable units come out to $60/square foot for the cheapest units in the building. ANHD also predicted even the cheapest affordable units, planned for $940/month, could shoot up to over $1000 per month by the time the building opens. We’re at the point where we couldn’t be surprised if Mike Bloomberg hangs giant “Poors Not Welcome” banners on the Manhattan-bound sides of the East River bridges before he leaves office.


  1. beezy

    Expanding supply is the number 1 way to keep rents from getting too high. So even if “affordable” new buildings don’t go to lower-income people, they help keep the rents on older buildings from escalating too fast. Even new luxury units for the very top end of the market help keep rents affordable in older buildings.

    Prices will always rise when demand exceeds supply!

    • Conal Darcy

      The outrage comes from the developer promising to produce affordable living spaces and getting the land from the city for insanely cheap. Then they turn around and charge 80% of market rate on 11 units and leave the rest to go to the highest bidder. So not only do they get the land for essentially nothing, they can squeeze a huge amount of money out of it while not fulfilling their end of the bargain.

      It’s fraud similar to the Barclay’s center deal. They got an insane deal on the land with promises to develop affordable housing and then totally welched on the deal. Alas, no consequences for the developers in either case.

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